NHL 23

NHL 23 Debuts First Female Cover Athlete

Alongside dual athlete covers!

EA Vancouver aims to push the puck forward with the 2023 installment of their NHL yearly franchise.

As the content embargo drops, we’ll have more tomorrow, but let’s start today with the NHL 23 cover launch!

NHL 23 will have two cover athletes on this year’s boxes in the way of Anaheim Ducks’ young New York-born center Trevor Zegras and Team Canada women’s Hamilton-born power forward Sarah Nurse.

Zegras is a no-brainer for the cover as the 21-year-old had a 2021-22 season where he became a trusted part of the Ducks line with his recreation of “The Michigan” and whatever this is! As well as earning a fan vote All-Star nomination and being on the shortlist for the Calder Cup in his first full season. He may not be Rookie of the Year, but he definitely encourages younger players to give it their all!

As a lifelong NHL player, Zegras says, “it is a dream come true to be on the cover this year with Sarah. I can’t wait to play this year’s
version with my friends and teammates, and I am equally excited to see fans unleash my Michigan flip!”

Seeing Nurse on the cover puts some pride in the heart of this Hamilton-based writer because the Nurse family are local hockey royalty. And if being mistaken for the musical on Reddit or being the storage airport for Drake’s obnoxious Air Drake private plane, this certainly does. Technically, this isn’t the first time women have featured on NHL key art, as there were a couple of digital images created last year featuring Nurse and other members of the Canadian and American women’s teams as part of NHL 22, adding the IIHF Women’s World Championships.

“It is such a tremendous honour to be the first woman on the cover of the NHL franchise,” says Nurse. “Hockey is really for everybody and I’m excited that NHL 23 is celebrating the diversity and inclusivity of the sport. I hope that the increased representation of women in
such a prominent game will inspire young girls everywhere to know that there is a place for them in hockey.”

The goal of having two young players from both sides of the game is to show that the game is trying to skew younger, more diverse, and celebratory achievements on both sides of the puck. “With teamplay as its heartbeat, the NHL franchise has always been best when played with friends, and
this year’s edition will bring players together in whole new ways,” says Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at EA Vancouver. “From the ever-growing presence of women players in the game to the coming introduction of cross-platform matchmaking, NHL 23
reflects hockey’s expanding fanbase and emphasizes that it is a sport best experienced together.”

I’m interested to see if the public discussion today affirms these choices!